Story

Jas Saggar
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​​​​Alumna (2014), PhD, Medical Biophysics​

Winner of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Ontario Provincial Championship and Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award in 2013

I came to Toronto from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I received my BSc degree from the University of Winnipeg. I was drawn to graduate studies at the University of Toronto due to its calibre of academic programs. I pursued my MSc in the Department of Nutritional Sciences as it serves as the largest nutritional-based research department in all of Canada. My passion for pursuing a science-based approach to nutrition and looking at its role in the prevention of disease was enhanced by my project and experiences in the department.

I received several honours and awards, including the Canadian Breast Cancer Fellowship, during my MSc. This, coupled with my positive experience throughout the program, further solidified my decision to stay at the U of T to pursue a PhD in the Department of Medical Biophysics on anticancer drug development. This decision came naturally as U of T is a leader in my field of research. U of T collaborates with many teaching hospitals to form the University Health Network including the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/Ontario Cancer Institute, which serves as the largest cancer research facility in Canada. The types of scientific discoveries and breakthroughs that occur at U of T are truly revolutionary, and to be able to contribute to this is amazing.

I find the U of T to have an incredible balance between academic-based activities and supplementary student life initiatives. I've been able to augment my science-based skills with business acumen by volunteering with student groups, serving as president of the Life Sciences Career Development Society, and through communications outreach initiatives at the Canadian Cancer Society.

I was overwhelmed at winning U of T's inaugural 2013 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)​ competition, both at the U of T and provincial levels. Winning was one of the highlights of my graduate student experience. I was recently awarded U of T's Gordon Cressy Volunteer award for outstanding dedication to enhancing the student life experience. This, alongside a CIHR doctoral funding award and participation in U of T's Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program, has contributed to a highly satisfying experience at U of T.

Ultimately, the U of T offers an incredible range of programs that encourages the success of its students both while at university and following their degree. I have a passion for communicating science. I would like to utilize my science and communication skills by translating important scientific findings not only to a medical and scientific audience but also to the general public using presentations and the media.

Watch the 3MT video!

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